jeanhee
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May 14, 2007

Happy Mother’s Day

Chiara is at the age where she mimics everything. So last week, May 5, we taught her to say Happy Birthday Nana, as a gift for nana’s 85th birthday.

this weekend it was anthony’s birthday. he’s considerably younger. we asked Chiara to wish anthony a happy birthday and she said, Happy Birthday Nana! at least she has a good memory!

So yesterday she learned how to say Happy Mother’s Day.

what a great present!

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jeanhee @ 11:23 pm

May 9, 2007

Munchkin Takes the ITP

Every year, Luke likes to go to the ITP–Interactive Telecommunications Program–show at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The students there show their senior projects, really interesting interactive software programs, robots and games, etc.

This year Luke was especially ambitious in wanting to bring Chiara with us. Everything takes place on a single floor on a building basically across the street from Canal Jeans. Narrow hallways and small classrooms cram crowds of people playing and trying out these imaginative realizations of everything from fanciful to practical ideas. No stroller would survive so somehow we’d have to navigate the crowds with a 20 month old who won’t let us hold her for long.

But everything worked out really well. When we entered, there was a red carpet and lots of cameras and recorded voices telling us to look this way or that way for the imaginary paparazzi. I held Chiara in my arms and tried to smile like a million bucks. Chiara, having no clue what was going on, didn’t look at any cameras I’m sure, but I think that toy was for me more than her. What a nice way to start a tour!

The very next project we tested out was for 2 year olds! What were the odds? The student invited Chiara into a four-walled square pen, each side about four feet long, that was soft and made of inflatable rubing. there was a television monitor over one wall that had a large image flashing of what looked like a simplistic castle. The student instructed us to tell Chiara to try to find the identical item on one of the walls of her pen. It took a while and some coaching but she found it and when she pressed it, a cartoon began, with narration. The narrator would get to a point in his story, and then an image would flash large on the screen and the story would pause until Chiara found the corresonding image in her pen and press it. Then the story would continue. At one point it got repetitive because a rooster and an ant were having a conversation and she had to touch each piece for the dialogue to continue. But it worked to reinforce the point of the game and we didn’t have to prompt her any longer.

Then we moved on and found an even more exciting and fun game for Chiara. It was kind of a carousel, but instead of horses, there were scooters. And when you pushed on your scooter around in a circle, the pole in the center would light up in different colors that varied, i believe, depending on your speed. I put Chiara on a scooter and pushed her from behind. But three other people got on the other scooters and clearly we were working at cross purposes so everyone jumped off. But Chiara stayed on. The student had lowered the handlebars on her scooter so she was standing pretty securely on her own. A man jumped on a scooter in front of chiara and began to gently get the carousel going. He made funny faces and gestures and Chiara was having a blast. She imitated him bobbing his head, bending his knees, doing all manner of gentle tricks. And she had the purest smile of happiness and joy on her face as she went around and around the carousel.

Oh, how she cried when we took her off.

But that’s a lesson in life, right? The fun has to end some time.

jeanhee @ 10:42 pm

May 7, 2007

Terrible Twos, coming soon

Chiara turned 20 months on Thursday. She’s blossoming into a chatty, quick and even funny little person. She’s not entirely fearless, but she’s adventurous. She’s not one to accept setbacks without trying again. All of this I learn whenever I take her to the playground. First of all, for 20 months, she’s quite ambitious with the playground equipment. she climbs the ladder/stairs up to the medium slide (about 5 feet high) all by herself. once, she fell, but after taking a pause by playing on the low slide (about 2 feet high), she went back, up the ladder, and down the slide. I was so proud of her! she even clapped at the top of the ladder. Yay! she said, with a big smile on her face, all her fingers spread wide while she clapped. That girl knows how to celebrate her own little triumphs.

The way she goes down the slide is a thing to behold as well. She doesn’t look scared, and if she pauses at the top it’s to survey the view rather than to delay the push off. she lets go and smiles all the way to the bottom, hair flying. then she says, yay at the bottom as luke or I catch her and throw her up in the air.

she has tried the tall slide (about 6 or 7 feet), which also curves into a spiral. that wasn’t that successful as she didn’t stay in the middle of the funnel, so her head hit the side of the slide (as gently as it possibly could have when going down a slide I suppose) and when i caught her at the bottom, instead of saying, Yay, chiara said, A-ya — which is Korean for Ouch! so i think we’ll wait a little while longer before encouraging that slide. although i myself want to go down that slide every time i go to the park. it looks like so much fun and I love slides.

chiara is also developing a stubbornness and a whine. she has twice demanded that she walk instead of sit in a stroller, only to then get on her stomach and lie on the asphalt of the street, at a crosswalk, while cars are waiting for the road to clear so they can pass. the first time, i actually laughed because it was so comical. she must know the crosswalk is the absolute worst place for a tantrum. and lying prone. where did she learn that?

as tantrums go, though, i don’t even know that it would measure as one for other moms. she doesn’t cry, she doesn’t kick her legs. she just whines, noooooowwwwuuuhhhh, not even that loud, and instantly assumes the prone position. it’s like the perfect protest body tactic. but i didn’t teach her! luckily she’s still only in the 20-30 pound range so even though she’s like a sack of potatoes, i can manage to pry her up from the tar. she’s a mess always now, with dirt streaks and stains from her knees to her chest, but i try to accept that she will outgrow this at some point.

jeanhee @ 11:19 pm